© 2006

Philosophy Of Chemistry

Synthesis of a New Discipline

  • Davis Baird
  • Eric Scerri
  • Lee McIntyre

Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 242)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Chemistry and the Philosophy of Chemistry

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Davis Baird, Eric Scerri, Lee McIntyre
      Pages 3-18
    3. Joachim Schummer
      Pages 19-39
  3. Chemistry and the History and Philosophy of Science

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 41-41
  4. Chemistry and Current Philosophy of Science

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 93-93
    2. Otto Theodor Benfey
      Pages 95-117
    3. Jeffrey Kovac
      Pages 157-169
  5. Chemistry and Physics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 171-171
    2. Robin Findlay Hendry
      Pages 173-189
    3. G. K. Vemulapalli
      Pages 191-204
  6. Chemical Theory and Foundational Questions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 205-205
    2. Ray Hefferlin
      Pages 221-243
    3. Jack R. Woodyard
      Pages 245-269
  7. Chemistry and its Tools of Representation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 271-271

About this book


This comprehensive volume marks a new standard in scholarship in the still emerging field of the philosophy of chemistry. With selections drawn from a wide range of scholarly disciplines, philosophers, chemists, and historians of science here converge to ask some of the most fundamental questions about the relationship between philosophy and chemistry. What can chemistry teach us about longstanding disputes in the philosophy of science over such issues as reductionism, autonomy, and supervenience? And what new issues may chemistry bring to the forefront now that it has joined physics and biology as a serious topic for philosophical reflection? This newest addition to the prestigious Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science series marks the true arrival of philosophy of chemistry within the corpus of the philosophy of science.


Chemical reaction chemistry ethics philosophy of science science

Editors and affiliations

  • Davis Baird
    • 1
  • Eric Scerri
    • 2
  • Lee McIntyre
    • 3
  1. 1.University of South CarolinaUSA
  2. 2.University of California at Los AngelesLos Angeles
  3. 3.Boston UniversityBoston

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

"This seems to indicate that the philosophy of chemistry is still in the process of synthesis, rather than a stable product of disciplinary consensus. … There is material here of interest not just to philosophers, but also those with interests in history and philosophy of science and indeed the study of science and technology more broadly. … for those who are curious, this volume would be a very good place to start seeking illumination." (Grant Fisher, Metascience, Vol. 16, 2007)

“Chapters in this book … discuss chemistry’s historical development; its relations to other sciences; its approaches to explanation, representation, classification, and measurement; and the ways in which issues in chemistry connect with, and shed light upon, larger philosophical questions about how sciences help us make sense of the world we live in. … the philosophical questions, and their clear, careful, and engaging presentation in this book, will be of genuine interest to chemists … . the essays in this volume will be a welcome resource.” (Janet D. Stemwedel, Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 83 (8), August, 2006)

"This collection of 19 papers is the result of a conference organized by the International Society for the Philosophy of Chemistry (ISPC) held in 1999. It … will be read as, a landmark in the history of the philosophy of science. … This volume testifies that … chemistry has a philosophy of its own." (Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, Nuncius, Vol. XXI (2), 2006)